Greek Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas on Friday said that refugees will not be transferred from the islands to the mainland yet because that would jeopardize the Turkey-European Union agreement.
Mouzalas spoke in parliament in the aftermath of the gas explosion accident that cost two refugees’ lives on Lesvos island and this week’s violent incidents involving migrants on Chios. Opposition parties accuse the government for lacking a plan to handle the refugee issue.
On his part, Mouzalas accused local authorities and local residents for not cooperating with the government and the European Commission for not sending adequate personnel to process asylum applications. He even accused a SYRIZA MP for expressing counterproductive populist slogans.
Specifically, he said that out of the 400 employees the European Commission promised to send to add to the asylum staff only 35 have arrived. He also said that many officials have resigned from their posts fearing for their safety.
Nevertheless, the migration minister admitted that there have been delays and miscalculations in handling migrants. He said that new hospitality facilities should be built on the islands that have registration centers.
Mouzalas also said that the far-right political group, Golden Dawn, should be investigated on suspicions of inciting the recent violent incidents.